Methods for Analysis of the Financing and Use of Long-Term Services and Supports

Data or Technical Information
June 26, 2013

This document describes the data and methods underlying the 23 exhibits presented in Congressional Budget Office Supplemental Material for Rising Demand for Long-Term Services and Supports for Elderly People, June 2013.

Most of the statistics presented in that report are based on tabulations of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/) and the Access to Care files of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS, http://go.usa.gov/b7TP). Before 2000, the HRS and MCBS, like other surveys measuring elderly people’s functional limitations, showed a relatively consistent decline in the prevalence of functional impairment over time. However, over the period from 2000 to 2010, the data do not show a consistent trend for elderly people living in the community. The prevalence of functional limitations among such people appears to have risen somewhat in the first half of the decade but then to have fallen during the second half. Because of the lack of a clear trend, in most of the exhibits in the report, CBO reports population-weighted averages from the entire 2000–2010 period. The exceptions are some statistics concerning the number of elderly people residing in institutions, which generally declined from 2000 to 2010, according to MCBS data. In those cases, the reported statistics are based on data from the 2010 MCBS (except for Exhibit 14, which uses the 10-year average because of small sample sizes in population subgroups).